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  #41  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 08:47 PM
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QTMichele QTMichele is offline
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Originally Posted by NeuroQueen View Post
Oh boy, I've been waiting for you to get back. Glad all went well and can't wait to read about it!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuddles14 View Post
Loving it so far Michele. You have a great writing style. I already have a big smile on my face just from the cruise originally being small to a group of 21!!! Then the surprises. Oh I can't wait to see how that turns out!!!
Ooooh! I'm motivated to write more tonight!!!! The next installation is coming up!!!! Have to kiss my kids goodnight first, but I'll be "right back"!
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #42  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:35 PM
NerdyChuck NerdyChuck is offline
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Michele,

Not sure how it could be done, but we need a live chat so you can answer questions .. :-). New travel site.. Cruisetime with Michele....

Looking forward to the next installment ..

mG

PS: found out my wife will be able to use her Starbucks card onboard to get participation "stars". Did you ever go in there? How was it?

Still 130+ days for us..
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  #43  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by NerdyChuck View Post
Michele,

Not sure how it could be done, but we need a live chat so you can answer questions .. :-). New travel site.. Cruisetime with Michele....

Looking forward to the next installment ..

mG

PS: found out my wife will be able to use her Starbucks card onboard to get participation "stars". Did you ever go in there? How was it?

Still 130+ days for us..
Well, there is a "live chat" on a major social media site, but I don't think I'm allowed to talk about that here. BrianAlt - can you confirm?

I'm not a coffee drinker so Starbucks isn't my cup of "tea," but I saw many people there! It's more of a kiosk location versus an actual store front, but it's nice nonetheless! You'll enjoy! The pastries looked yummy, but I had no room to try any of their yum yums.

Off for the next installation...
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #44  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:46 PM
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Thank God for your review!

It feels like an eternity since I've been on a cruise

Looking forward to more
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Photo Gallery - http://www.flickr.com/photos/therealdanielfamily/
Learn About Me - http://www.about.me/curtisleedaniel

RCI - Majesty of the Seas 9/06 - Bahamas
RCI - Sovereign of the Seas 5/07 - Bahamas
RCI - Mariner of the Seas 9/07 - Western Caribbean
RCI - Mariner of the Seas 11/07 - Eastern Caribbean
RCI - Navigator of the Seas 3/08 - Western Caribbean
RCI - Mariner of the Seas 9/08 - Eastern Caribbean - We survived Hurricane Hanna!
RCI - Voyager of the Seas 11/08 - Western Mediterranean
RCI - Liberty of the Seas 9/09 - Eastern Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Monarch of the Seas 7/10 - Bahamas -- Review
RCI - Freedom of the Seas 8/10 - Eastern Caribbean / No Wait! It's Western Now. -- Review
RCI - Grandeur of the Seas 10/10 - Western Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Radiance of the Seas 12/10 - Western Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Jewel of the Seas 4/11 - Southern Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Freedom of the Seas 9/12 - Western Caribbean -- "First Family Cruise" -- Review
RCI - Navigator of the Seas 12/12 - Western Caribbean -- No Review
RCI - Oasis of the Seas 11/13 - Eastern Caribbean - Review Coming Soon
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  #45  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:46 PM
Livabeth Livabeth is offline
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Originally Posted by QTMichele View Post

Packing for this trip was a hassle. Baggage limitations and excess cost stress me out, but I managed to pack 4 checked bags plus one small carry on for each of us. Plus a car seat. Imagine 2 adults and 3 kids meandering through the airport with all this junk.
I so understand the packing for a family thing. I struggle with it each time. We have the same amount of luggage as you for one less child.

Cathy
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  #46  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:56 PM
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Default Friday, February 10, 2012: Hollywood, Florida

Friday morning and five hours of sleep later, I awoke to a day full of family activities. Two of our "surprises" from New York State (my aunt and uncle) were staying with my cousins, their sons, who live in West Palm Beach. I couldn't wait to check in and say hello to my family! We made plans to meet them at my cousin's home, then we went to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

The drive to West Palm was horrible.... tons of rain and "cool" weather (much warmer than WV though - I wasn't complaining!). We finally made it. Thankfully, the weather cleared up and I was able to take a picture of my son copying my dad outside of the Cheesecake Factory:



Lunch was okay - it always sounds better than it is (I think the meals are overrated, but that's just me). The company was great though! My grandmother, who lives in Florida, joined us too!

After lunch, we continued our family time by going back to the Westin. My in-laws recently moved to the Orlando area and were meeting us for the rest of the day and next. Seriously, we were over-indulging on family, but I'm a family girl and LOVED it!

My in-laws brought a surprise - my husband's niece! My kids were thrilled that their cousin was there. No lack of pictures there...



Dinner time was near and Italian was calling our name. We ventured to Mama Mia's in Hollywood. Jason and I had been there before and knew they would accommodate our large group. If you're counting, it was my family, my parents, my inlaws, and our niece - just 10. Mama Mia's has a variety of food ranging from decent to (very?) good.

After dinner I had to make a trip to Walgreens and Publix for a few pre-cruise items and some goodies for the hotel room. For the kids, of course.
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #47  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bionicman97 View Post
Thank God for your review!

It feels like an eternity since I've been on a cruise

Looking forward to more
How was your trip, Curtis?

You need to book a cruise... Liberty, Thanksgiving 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livabeth View Post
I so understand the packing for a family thing. I struggle with it each time. We have the same amount of luggage as you for one less child.

Cathy
I really, really struggled with it this time... I don't know how I managed, but I think having a toddler helped keep the luggage down. I could easily have packed another suitcase or two. On the other hand, we didn't use half of what we packed.
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #48  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:08 PM
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A side vent...

But a little background first.

My parents earned another free cruise for 2 during the time they booked their cruise and the time I booked an aunt and uncle. The ever so generous parents used their Visa points to pay for my aunt and uncle's stateroom. However, they cashed in their points at final payment time so they decided to pay for the room with their credit card and turn in the points at the same time. Doing it this way ensured that my aunt and uncle's reservation wouldn't be cancelled since it takes a little while for the points to process. Royal Caribbean said they would refund the credit card payment as soon as the points processed. No problem, right?

Wrong.

My mom kept checking for the refund, but it never came. I called Royal Rewards (they administer the Visa points rewards) on 3 occasions. Each time I was told the refund would process within 7 to 10 business days.

Wrong again.

I threw my hands in the air and called our TA - let them earn their keep, right? Right. After a few back and forth calls, my TA finally called and informed me that Royal Caribbean refused to refund our credit card. They did agree to send the refund to the TA who would then refund us the money.

HUH?!

Ultimately, my parents have paid in full twice for one stateroom - once with their credit card and again with their Visa rewards. We've been promised that they will receive their money once the TA gets theirs - approximately 4 weeks after our cruise.

<<NOT holding my breath>>>

LESSON here: if you have Visa points, use them well before final payment!
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #49  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:15 PM
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Hi Michele, Your little boy is so so cute!! Looking forward to the rest of your review! ~Stacey
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Live from Explorer July 2007- - Live from Explorer 12/2007 Holiday Cruise-
CCL from RCI Miracle 12/2008 - - Explorer June 24,2010 Review
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- Team K on Oasis - 6/24/11 Review

Summit Review May 2012

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  #50  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:17 PM
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QTMichele QTMichele is offline
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Default Saturday, February 11, 2012: Hollywood, Florida

Today is the day that I'm really feeling the urge to take a bottle of Xanax. (I didn't.)

My excitement was really building as more of my family arrived. Another aunt and uncle arrived, along with my sister (not the one getting married). We spent the day at the Westin's pool and enjoyed each other's company.

My inlaws and niece left by mid afternoon. If you're following along, we are now left with my family unit of 5, my parents, my aunt and uncle that arrived today (the other set were in West Palm), and my (single) sister. It was dinner time, and we were hungry.

Our hotel concierge suggested a local Greek restaurant: Taverna Opa. Oh. My. Gosh. Can you say dancing on the tables with belly dancers 10 times fast?! And, yes, this is a family friendly place.

Oh, and guess what? My MOM was dancing on the table with a belly dancer! AND I HAVE PICTURES!!! LOL Actually, my dad has the pictures, but I'll be getting them... will try to remember to post later.

Dinner was great, but the music was LOUD. Fun atmosphere and very busy - go early or make reservations.

Later that evening, my sister - the one getting married - her fiancé, her son, and her fiancé's daughter arrived in Ft. Lauderdale. They stayed at a hotel closer to the port - no chance of them learning about our SURPRISES!!!

Tomorrow is the day... oh why don't I have a prescription for Xanax?!!!
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #51  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiseDivaNJ View Post
Hi Michele, Your little boy is so so cute!! Looking forward to the rest of your review! ~Stacey
Thanks, Stacey!!! I <3 him!
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #52  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by QTMichele View Post
How was your trip, Curtis?

You need to book a cruise... Liberty, Thanksgiving 2012.

...
Had a great time, Keith did good the whole. I did learn we aren't ready yet for a cruise yet. Once he is on food I think it will be a little easier with the travel. Hopefully later this year.

We had to have our TA help with the Redemption Points also. I don't know why it has to be so complicated.
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"Wisdom is conspicuous through modesty & silence" - but it makes for a boring message board.


Photo Gallery - http://www.flickr.com/photos/therealdanielfamily/
Learn About Me - http://www.about.me/curtisleedaniel

RCI - Majesty of the Seas 9/06 - Bahamas
RCI - Sovereign of the Seas 5/07 - Bahamas
RCI - Mariner of the Seas 9/07 - Western Caribbean
RCI - Mariner of the Seas 11/07 - Eastern Caribbean
RCI - Navigator of the Seas 3/08 - Western Caribbean
RCI - Mariner of the Seas 9/08 - Eastern Caribbean - We survived Hurricane Hanna!
RCI - Voyager of the Seas 11/08 - Western Mediterranean
RCI - Liberty of the Seas 9/09 - Eastern Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Monarch of the Seas 7/10 - Bahamas -- Review
RCI - Freedom of the Seas 8/10 - Eastern Caribbean / No Wait! It's Western Now. -- Review
RCI - Grandeur of the Seas 10/10 - Western Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Radiance of the Seas 12/10 - Western Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Jewel of the Seas 4/11 - Southern Caribbean -- Review
RCI - Freedom of the Seas 9/12 - Western Caribbean -- "First Family Cruise" -- Review
RCI - Navigator of the Seas 12/12 - Western Caribbean -- No Review
RCI - Oasis of the Seas 11/13 - Eastern Caribbean - Review Coming Soon
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  #53  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:31 PM
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M&JfromSDL M&JfromSDL is offline
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Your original Allure trip report was one of the ones that convinced us to book on her for this past November. Will your second trip report convince us to cruise on her again?

No pressure!
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  #54  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:32 PM
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QTMichele QTMichele is offline
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Default Sunday, February 12, 2012: DAY 1

This is IT!!!! Oh my gosh, I am so flipping excited to get this day going!!!! Remember, my sister Terra only knows that her immediate family, her fiancé's brothers, and one uncle is joining us on the cruise - she has no idea that her 2 more aunts and 2 more uncles are in Florida and boarding the ship with us!

We had a rental car and decided it would be easier if my DH dropped us off at the port while he returned the car. It probably was easier - no carting luggage on shuttles, but I hated the waiting!!! It took at least 40 minutes for him to get back.

Here's one of our first views of Allure:



I've gotta tell you, this view really struck me. Yes, I've been on Allure before. Yes, I know how large she is. Yes, she still took my breath away. She is awesome.

Here we are waiting. And waiting. And waiting on my husband and my dad to get back from dropping off the car rentals.



(My DD, mom, niece, and one set of SURPRISE uncle and aunt)

FINALLY, my dad and husband made it back. By this time, everyone is on the ship except those pictured above, my DH, my dad, and me. I was a nervous wreck that my sister would run into one of her surprises.

Fortunately, the check in process didn't take long and we were boarding the ship.

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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #55  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:39 PM
keyarra keyarra is offline
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More! More! More! lol Great review.
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  #56  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:40 PM
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QTMichele QTMichele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bionicman97 View Post
Had a great time, Keith did good the whole. I did learn we aren't ready yet for a cruise yet. Once he is on food I think it will be a little easier with the travel. Hopefully later this year.

We had to have our TA help with the Redemption Points also. I don't know why it has to be so complicated.
I understand. Travelling with babies changes everything. Try not to rush time too much - they grow up so quickly as it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M&JfromSDL View Post
Your original Allure trip report was one of the ones that convinced us to book on her for this past November. Will your second trip report convince us to cruise on her again?

No pressure!
Lovely. Pressure is on! LOL
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #57  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:41 PM
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QTMichele QTMichele is offline
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Originally Posted by keyarra View Post
More! More! More! lol Great review.
You got it!
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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #58  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:54 PM
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The instructions for the family, minus my sister, her fiancé and his brothers, were to go to the Viking Crown Lounge and wait. We chose the VCL to reveal the surprises for a couple of reasons. First, there's a bar. In a Xanax shortage, this is good. Second, we assumed (correctly) that it wouldn't be crowded and we'd have the place to ourselves. Finally, the views are nice.

So, everyone but my sister and her entourage are waiting on me to find my sister. I found her et al in Boleros. Convincing her and the rest of the gang to join me was a little challenging, but I can be convincing.

Under the guise of, "We want you to see the view before it gets too crowded," we made our way to the VCL. My heart was pounding and I was grinning like a goof ball.

My sister greets everyone she "knows" is onboard:



Here she is trying to figure out why everyone is telling her to look "over there."



And then she sees them. Terra finds our aunts and uncles sitting in the high back chairs and SCREAMS, JUMPS UP and DOWN, SCREAMS some more, and CRIES. It was the best surprise EVER!!!! We were all screaming and laughing.







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Michele

Oasis of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 8 February 2014
Liberty of the Seas, 5 Nights, Western Itinerary, 19 November 2012
Monarch of the Seas, 4 Nights, Bahamas Itinerary, 30 July 2012 - REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 12 February 2012 - Pictorial REVIEW
Allure of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 27 March 2011 - Pictorial REVIEW
Freedom of the Seas, 7 Nights, Eastern Itinerary, 3 January 2010 - Pictorial REVIEW (REVIEW without photos)
Mariner of the Seas, 7 Nights, Western Itinerary, 25 February 2007 - REVIEW
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  #59  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by QTMichele View Post
Well, there is a "live chat" on a major social media site, but I don't think I'm allowed to talk about that here. BrianAlt - can you confirm?
mmmmm....
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Please check out my food review of the Oasis. A good resource for Oasis, Allure or just about any RCI Ship!
The Almost Complete Food Lovers Guide to the Oasis of the Seas

Song of Norway-Nov 1991 * Majesty Of The Seas-Sept 1994 * Diamond Princess-April 2004 *
Mariner Of The Seas-April 2006 *
Carnival Valor-March 2007 * Explorer Of The Seas-April 2008
Explorer Of The Seas-July 2009 * Oasis of the Seas-July 2010 * Carnival Glory -July 2011 *
Enchantment Of The Seas-Oct 2011 * Enchantment Of The Seas-Oct 2011 * Allure of the Seas-April 2012 *
Brilliance of the Seas-Nov 2012 * Celebrity Equinox-July 2013 * Celebrity Summit-July 2014 *
Quantum of the Seas-Nov 2014 *
Quantum of the Seas-Dec 2014



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Old February 23rd, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Cruise_Kitten Cruise_Kitten is offline
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I am really enjoying this so far! I bet it was such a rush and a happy occasion for your sister. Not only getting married while on holiday but seeing all the family there in one place to celebrate it.

Well done you for organising it

Look forward to reading the rest of it

CK x
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